Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Story Jumper

A program called Story Jumper is something that I could really see myself using in my future elementary classrooms. We all remember writing our own story books and diligently doing the illustrations for these books. What could be cooler than integrating that with technology? With story jumper your students can write their own stories and pick the graphics that they like to go with it.  One of the most impressive parts is that your students can still draw their own pictures and upload them onto the pages! You can even add personal pictures. Creativity, originality and technology all in one.

I did start to create my own book and found that its easy and fun! I did not have any problems with the layout or inserting the graphics. I can see where some educators might prefer to have the students practice writing and drawing on their own. For those teacher I might suggest having their students do a traditional book and one Story Jumper book. I just barely skimmed the surface of what this program can do. Check my book out here.

I was also trying to think of other ways to integrate this into the classroom I came up with the following
-Journal/self reflections with graphics or original illustrations
-A collections of stories in one place for example, fables, poems etc.
-A book filled with a collection of student art or photography

You really could find many cool things to do with this program, and I look forward to using this or something similar in my classroom!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Changing the way we educate

This is a lecture that my husband and I came across right after the birth of our daughter. At that particular time we had many discussions about what we could do for her to make sure that she would get the best possible education. We knew that this would mean we not only needed to find out what we could do to educate her but also what we could do to change our way of thinking. That's when we came across Sir Ken Robinson and a series of lectures that included thoughts and things we had never really taken the time to consider.

I think this video shows what we as future educators can do to change our ways of thinking about how we educate. For me the eye opening section was when he talks about how we need to change our "factory" school systems. Not all children the same age have the same abilities and not all children learn the same way so how can we conform all children to the same standards? We tend to stifle creativity and thinking outside the box so that we can mold our youth into the perfect test takers and students. What are your thoughts on this? What can we do to change our school systems, to promote more creativity when budget cuts are eliminating the art programs? Instead of trying to make all students the same why don't we help each student to learn and excel and what they are good at.

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it's ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life believing that it is stupid." Albert Einstein

If you liked this video you can watch another by Sir Ken Robinson HERE

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It seems lately bullying and cyber bullying has been plastered all over the news, talk shows and those late night news specials. As I watch these shows I can't help but notice how strongly opinionated people are on both sides of this issue. It seems you have those who say ''just ignore bullys'', ''if you ignore it they will stop''. Then you have those who think that bullies should not be tolerated and every small incident should be addressed.

But what is the reality of either of these things working to combat problems? I can't answer that with the experience of a teacher who may have had issues with bullying in the class room. However I can give my perspective based on the fact that I was a student once and have witnessed it first hand.

We all know how hard it is to just ignore a bully, words hurt and more times than not the bullying goes further than just words. But we also know that when an adult gets involved it can also only make the problem worse. So what do we do to fix this? Can we have strict no tolerance policies in our schools? Do students always have the courage to report it?

I don't know the answers to these questions and the scariest part of the whole issue is that kids are losing their lives because they can't handle the everyday torture that their aggressors put them through.

One common piece of all this is that many parents and educators share the belief that cyber bullying between classmates should be reprimanded at school. They believe that even though it doesn't happen at school it could be combated by punishment through the school system. Do you think it is fair to punish for something that happens outside of school?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Technology in Education

My first time using Google Docs was an interesting experience. I was surprised to find out actually how useful it was. My first thoughts were that it would be a hassle and difficult to have multiple people trying to put together and edit a document. I was pleasantly surprised when it was very easy. Once we came up with a game plan and mapped out what portion of the document each was to complete things went smoothly.

The best part in my opinion was how convenient it was to work on the document on our own time while still having the capability to keep in touch with what the others were doing. While each person was editing it was easy to see by the color of the cursor who was responsible for the editing. Another nice feature was the possibility to chat with the other members.

All in all I think its a wonderful tool to use inside the classroom.
What are some things that you liked about Google Docs? Can you share any cool tips and tricks?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Let's start at the beggining

My name is Nicole, I am
-a future teacher who will be teaching the future
-a wife, mother and student
-a lover of learning and discovering new things

I aspire to teach young students new things in new ways. I want the opportunity to shape their way of thinking while its still shape-able. Selfishly I also want to learn as much as I can from teaching anything and everything I can get my hands on. Having my own child makes me so much more motivated to give our future the best possible chance at success.

Blogging will give me an outlet to share ideas and stories with others. I have already mooched ideas and entertainment from other bloggers so now its time I give back.